Thompson victorious against the dunes

CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals - Round 5, held at Gopher Dunes, Courtland, ON.

MX defending champion, Cole Thompson.

MX defending champion, Cole Thompson. — Photo courtesy @lissimorephoto

Courtland, ON – The Gopher Dunes track didn’t disappoint this weekend and definitely kept its title of the most demanding track in Canada if not North America. However, it did not stop the KTM Thor Racing Team from shining and grabbing some valuable points. Thompson finished 2nd overall with a dominating MX2 Moto 2, while Kaven Benoit made a smooth come back in the MX1 class after being on the side line for the past 3 rounds. The tough Ontario track was also the host of KTM Thor Orange Brigade rider Tanner Ward’s incredible pro-debut.

It was once again a great weekend for MX2 defending champion, Cole Thompson. He started his day with a solid top 3 qualification. In Moto 1, Cole got a decent start in the top 5 and worked his way up to 2nd by the first half of the race, making some important passes. As the track became rougher, Thompson kept pushing as much as he could but had to settle for 3rd place after a last minute pass. In between motos, Cole and his mechanic made some major adjustments to his previous bike set up and their hard work payed off right when the gate dropped for Moto 2. Although Cole got a mid-pack start, he stayed calm and made some early passes, going from 9th on lap 1 to 1st by lap 6. From there, Thompson completely checked out and finished a good 12 sec in front of his competition.  His 3-1 gave him a 2nd place overall on the day and helped him extend his points lead to 40 over fellow KTM rider Josh Osby. “I wasn’t myself in Moto 1 and couldn’t find my vibe. After we made the right changes on the bike it was a completely different story. I felt really comfortable and was able to push both my 250 SX-F Factory Edition and my body to their full potential. It surely feels good to keep growing my points lead as we reach half way in the series.”

The return of Kaven Benoit.

The return of Kaven Benoit. — Photo courtesy @lissimorephoto

The first Eastern round also marked the return of MX1 Rider Kaven Benoit. Gopher Dunes was Benoit’s first race since he had decided to take an extended break to heal up his ankle completely back in early June. Kaven was looking good all morning and qualified 5th in the main class. The first moto didn’t go as planned as Kav had to pull off the track after mid-moto because of a major cramp that was preventing him from breathing. Benoit was able to finally get the ache away after cooling down. The second moto, started well for Kaven as he ran in the top 5 for a little while. Around mid-way, Kaven started getting a little off pace due to the super rough sand track. He lost some positions but then found his second breath and made some great passes to finish 6th. “I am not sure what happened in the first moto. I couldn’t breathe and it was becoming unbearable. Although it didn’t happen in the second race, I still wasn’t feeling 100%. I will use this week to focus on my health and come back stronger next week.”

Last weekend was also the first MX2 pro race of our Orange Brigade Pro-Am rider Tanner Ward. At only 17 years old, Tanner qualified 7th, showing off his potential as a future Canadian motocross professional. Ward raced an amazing first moto and sit in 5th place until he crashed on the last lap. Tanner regrouped in between the two motos and showed up on the gate sore but ready to race. He didn’t get the start he was hoping for in Moto 2, but he still pushed to climb into the top 10 and finished with a well-deserved 8th position. His 24-8 gave him a 15th position overall on his first ever pro day. “You never know what to expect when you race a track like Gopher Dunes, especially if it’s your first ever national and your nerves are taking over. Despite my little get off in the first moto, I don’t think I could have ask for a better pro-debut. The support from the team, my family, my trainer, my friends, the fans and even the media was unbelievable. I’m really excited for the next rounds and I can’t wait to see what awaits for me.”

Tanner Ward.

At only 17 years old, Tanner Ward qualified 7th, showing off his potential as a future Canadian motocross professional. — Photo courtesy @lissimorephoto

MX2 Results

1. Shawn Maffenbeier 1-2
2. Cole Thompson – KTM 3-1
3. Dylan Wright 2-4
4. Josh Osby – KTM 4-3
5. Ryan Surrat 5-6

MX2 Championship Standing

1. Cole Thompson – KTM - 279 points
2. Josh Osby – KTM - 239 points
3. Shawn Maffenbeier - 239 points
4. Ryan Surrat – 210 points
5. Dylan Wright - 193 points

KTM Canada, Inc. would like to thank Thor & Parts Canada for their support, as well as all our other team sponsors.

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